Since I’ve added someone new to my “Support System” Page I figured I’d share a little about them with you all.

There are some people that change your life dramatically, some that impact your life in ways that they may not even ever truly realize and often times I believe that people come into your life for a reason, even if we don’t always figure that reason out, there usually is one.

I’ve never been the type to be affected largely by other people’s success stories. In fact, a year ago, if you had shown me someone that had successfully lost weight after a gastric bypass I’d have nodded my head and told you that they we’re probably way more dedicated then I could ever be.

That changed for me six months ago when I attended the Informational Seminar for the SWMC Weight Loss Surgery Program. In fact, it wasn’t the surgeon that sold me that and convinced me that this was something *I* could do, it was the success story speaker that they brought in that flipped all the switches in my brain and made me believe that this was something *I* could do.

Perhaps it had to do with the fact that he was my age, perhaps it had to do with the fact that I saw similarities in our likes, in walked this fit, tattooed thirty five year old guy who had story similar to mine. He talked about his addictions to food, how much food he could eat in one sitting, and about how the surgery changed his life. He talked about how he’d become obsessive with exercise, how he’d had to start looking at food as fuel that made his body go and let him do the things he wanted to do, and for the first time since I’d started thinking about having Weight Loss Surgery, I felt confident that I could adopted these same ways of thinking and be successful too.

I’d been to three other Seminars before this one, ( because they kept making me do them over when I waited too long to get started ) though this was my first one at SWMC, and I’d heard other success story speakers, and none of them had any effect on me. Steven however, walked in the room with a confidence that caught my attention, his no bullshit tell it like it is attitude was refreshing. He talked about things they probably didn’t even want him to, and thank god he did, if I’d had that whole milk diet thing thrown in my lap all of the sudden with no idea it was coming ahead of time, I’d likely have not been very successful with it. But thanks to Steven I had a couple of months to prepare for it, and to try to wrap my head around it.

When my life took a drastic change the month before surgery and pretty much started falling apart and I felt like there was no way I was going to make it through the last two weeks without turning to food, cigarettes, sugar and everything else that I was used to turning to, I reached out to Steven, I didn’t really think there was anyone else that would quite understand what I was going through. I contacted him though my Weight Loss Surgery coordinator Cathy, who is always eager to help and she gave Steven my number and asked him to call me.

Being the busy guy he is (sorry Steven I have to give you a hard time about it) he finally called me a week later! But when he did, it was amazing to me how he was able to put all my fears and concerns to bed for me. I couldn’t even tell you what he said to me, I couldn’t recall that conversation if I wanted to, I know that I was about on the verge of tears during the call as I tried to explain how everything seemed to be falling apart on me all at once, and though I have no idea what he said, I do know that when I hung up the phone, I was 100{6e74c841b8f362d8aea590534016dc569fd3035eeb9e530df8846b42682c6656} convinced that I could make it through the next seven days till surgery and that I’d be ok afterwards, even if everything around me wasn’t. It’s amazing to have someone that has been where you are, taking the time to stop and help those that are following in their footsteps. Having someone that understands what you are going through, what you are feeling, your ups and downs, your accomplishments and your failures, has been something I’m positive I would not have wanted to have done without.

Since Surgery Steve has become one of my dearest friends, someone I share just about everything with, good bad and ugly. He’s been there to tell me when I’ve done something stupid, like trying to take a bite of pastrami a week out of surgery, and he’s been there to tell me I need to slow down and let my body heal and rest, when I was trying to do too much in the gym too early out. He’s been there to tell me to be careful and take care of myself; he’s been there to tell me that it’s ok that I don’t feel up to being in the gym today and that I need to listen to my body. He’s been there to tell me not to listen when people have said things to me that are negative and unconstructive, and he’s been there every day to give me that “Atta girl.” That makes me smile and go \O/ as he celebrates my little accomplishments and wow moments with me.

Steven just recently celebrated his 6 year anniversary since Gastric Bypass. Maybe if I ask him REALLY nicely he’ll let me post his before and after pictures here to share with you, having seen his before picture and seen him in person I can tell you that his transformation is truly amazing. He lost over 200lbs in 13 months and his obsession with the gym and exercise has definitely helped him find his way to being an incredibly handsome man.

There should be a cool photo of us together attached to this post all smiling and crap, but since our schedules have yet to even let us get together for coffee, that will have to wait for another day.

I wonder sometimes if the people in our lives ever know the significance that they have and how important they are, and I wonder if we stop and take the time enough to tell them. I just wanted to take the time to make sure that this very special person knew how very special they are to me.

I only hope that one day I can pay it forward as well as he has, and that I can affect others and inspire others and help others the way he has done for me. Thanks Steven, I consider myself blessed to have you in my corner you’re totally my hero.